Urban Transport Group welcomes PHV legislation overhaul

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Report calls for urgent revisions to provide a clearer and safer structure 

Director of the group, Jonathan Bray, says the current legislation is ‘archaic, confusing and contested’

The Urban Transport Group has welcomed a report calling for an overhaul of legislation for taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs).

Carried out by the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing – on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), the report said that legislation should be “urgently revised to provide a safe, clear and up-to-date structure” to regulate taxis and PHVs.

Included in the report’s recommendations are calls for local authorities to be able to set a cap on the number of taxis and PHVs they license to help ease congestion, improve air quality and increase parking availability, and for PHV journeys to be regulated so that they start and end within the area where the driver, vehicle and operator are licensed.

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus and Chair of the Urban Transport Group, said of the report: “We have long argued that the legislative framework for taxis and PHVs is outdated and in urgent need of significant reform for reasons of public safety, congestion, consumer protection, air quality and inclusive growth.

“We are pleased therefore that the Task and Finish Group report reflects and endorses all the key recommendations of our Taxi! report of last year.

“In particular, we welcome the call for a tightening up of the licensing regime to prevent a race to the bottom on standards and safety, and powers for authorities to limit numbers of taxis and PHVs if necessary in order to help tackle congestion.”

Jonathan Bray, Director of Urban Transport Group, added: “Taxis and PHV numbers are experiencing exponential growth in many urban areas and have been transformed by new business models and technologies.

“Yet the legislation which governs the sector is archaic, confusing and contested, and is not in the best interests of those who use taxis, those who drive, or those who have responsibilities for keeping cities moving.

“We now look to the Government to act on these proposals and we look forward to contributing to that process.”